Very unfortunate, to say the least.
A Texas law that bans gender-affirming care for transgender youth will go into effect as scheduled Friday.
The law will kick in September 1st despite a state district judge’s ruling last week that the law, Senate Bill 14, is likely unconstitutional and discriminates against transgender youth. That decision came after several families, advocacy groups and medical doctors filed a lawsuit to stop the act.
It was temporarily placed on hold, but the Texas Attorney General’s office quickly appealed the decision to the state Supreme Court, which ruled early Thursday the law will be in effect until a final resolution is reached.
“The Supreme Court of Texas has denied appellees’ emergency motion for temporary relief in State of Texas v. Loe, allowing SB14 to go into effect on Sept. 1. The direct appeal in this case remains pending before the Court,” the state’s high court posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.
Under the law, transgender people under 18 years old would be barred from accessing puberty blockers and hormone therapies, two of the most common forms of gender-affirming care.
The legal groups that represented the plaintiffs include Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, said in a joint statement the state supreme court’s action places transgender youth and their families in peril but vowed to continue fighting the legislation.
“The fight is far from over. In its ruling, the district court clearly articulated the ways in which S.B. 14 likely violates the Texas Constitution by infringing upon the fundamental right of parents to make decisions concerning the care, custody, and control of their children, infringing upon Texas physicians’ right of occupational freedom, and discriminating against transgender adolescents with gender dysphoria because of their sex, sex stereotypes, and transgender status,” the statement reads. “We couldn’t agree more, and look forward to continuing this fight.”
See here for my previous update, which was from the end of the hearing and before the TRO was granted. I missed the story of the injunction, which annoys me but it happens. I see now that there was a Trib story about the ruling, which is now updated to reflect the SCOTx refusal to grant an emergency request to allow the TRO to remain in effect. I wish I could say I was surprised or even disappointed, but I can’t. I’m just pissed off. Nothing like a crushing defeat to usher in a holiday weekend.
That said, there were some late victories on Thursday, in which both the drag ban and the book ban laws were halted. I didn’t have time to get to them yesterday, I’ll write about them for tomorrow. That doesn’t reduce the hurt or the harm of this ruling, but they are victories and we should be happy about them.
By the way, I think I figured out the difference between this lawsuit and the Harris County Elections Administrator lawsuit, where the AG appeal automatically blocked the district court judge’s order, and the Death Star lawsuit, in which the law will remain blocked pending appeals. In the first two cases, the ruling was for a temporary restraining order, whereas in the latter the court granted summary judgment for the plaintiff. In other words, the first two were orders to pause the law while the merits of the case were still being decided, while in the latter the plaintiffs won outright. Because the merits of the case were decided, we’re now in the regular appeals process for the Death Star law, not the “appeal of a TRO” process. At least, that’s my best guess for why they’re different. You lawyers feel free to correct me as needed.